When we talk about someone being emotionally available, just exactly what do we mean? It’s not like we can just “check out” someone’s emotions or available nature like a library book. And it’s not like we can tell off the bat if someone is emotionally available or not — unless, of course, the person tells us at “Hello!” or walks around with a label on him or her.
If you’re trying to determine the signs he’s emotionally unavailable versus the signs he’s emotionally available, use this little “guide” that will help you determine if your potential love is free to make something grow and build with you, or if that person is “closed” for emotional and romantic business.
But before we dive into these tenets, let’s talk straight about why someone is emotionally unavailable. It’s not that cut and dry. Everyone has his or her own story, but typically someone is emotionally unavailable because of these reasons:
- Long history of heartache — or a recent breakup or separation of a marriage
- Traumas from childhood or any period in life
- Mental health issues like depression
- Fear of commitment
- Likes playing the field and not getting attached
- Doesn’t see you as potential, just sees you as fun
And really, what does this emotionally unavailable person want? To avoid commitment and connection because those two things are:
- Scary for him/her and bring up past hurts
- Not convenient as he/she wants to play the field
- Unfamiliar to him/her as this person has had bad relationships or dysfunctional family relationships
So, if you really want to know the difference between an emotionally unavailable versus emotionally available person, here are the things you need to keep in mind.
1. The unavailable partner keeps you within four walls; the available partner expands you to his/her world.
The unavailable partner spends time with you, just the two of you, always. He or she isn’t giving the social circle grand tour. You’ve never met anyone important to this person.
This person also isn’t eager to meet anyone in your inner circle, if he or she does at all. This partner might know or willingly meet people close to you, but your love interest won’t include you in his or her circle.
The available partner is eager or, at the very least, interested in working towards introducing you and even making you a part of his or her inner social circle. This person is curious and hoping to become a part of your circle and knows who your BFFs and favorite family members are.
2. The unavailable partner keeps his/her emotions under wraps; the available partner is open and shares.
The unavailable partner’s emotions are under strict lock and key. It’s very hard to completely understand how this person feels simply because the unavailable partner is hiding those thoughts for some reason. Or, in some cases, the unavailable partner will keep completely open only to then pull away and turn off, not wanting to share how he or she is really feeling about you and your relationship, amongst other things.
The available partner is open about most of his or her life but is especially open about where you stand with him or her. This person likes sharing his or her feelings and wants you to reciprocate those feelings back.
3. The unavailable partner is frightened by your emotions; the available partner is excited by your emotions.
The unavailable partner is intimidated by your feelings and emotions because those feelings and emotions signal desire for connection and closeness. These feelings could frighten that person as he or she may be afraid of getting hurt, or those feelings could be inconvenient for the emotionally unavailable person who strictly wants sex or a causal connection.
The available partner is excited by your emotions and feelings because it means you want to get closer to him or her. It means you are investing in them as this person is investing in you. This person wants and is ready to love.
4. The unavailable partner is not willing to learn about you; the available partner wants to learn about you.
The unavailable partner is not interested in learning too much about you because with that learning comes connection and intimacy. More often than not, this person doesn’t want you to know too much about him or her.
The available partner can’t wait to learn about you because the more this person knows, the more connected he or she can be to you. And this person wants to share as much as he or she can with you.
5. The unavailable partner doesn’t want to share too much about him or herself; the available partner wants to share, share, share.
One of the signs he’s emotionally unavailable is the belief that sharing will create expectations and let you in too closely, which means this person is either afraid for you to get too close or doesn’t have any interest in you getting closer. This person might also be afraid to share too much as it could be painful for this person to share.
On the other hand, one of the signs he’s emotionally available is that he’s eager to share with you, although there might be some things that this person could be scared to share as well. That’s normal! This person is eager for you to discover more about him or her.
6. The unavailable partner has sex with you; the available partner wants intimacy and can make love.
The unavailable partner has sex with you. By that I mean, this person doesn’t develop a deep, intimate connection with you beyond what makes you climax. This person could have gentle sex, but it’s not love. It’s not exchanging words and heartfelt thoughts. It’s just hot slow sex.
The available partner can give you a range of sexploration, from down and dirty sex, to passionate and slow sex, to making love, complete with emotions and all.
While anyone can be a mixture of both available and unavailable, it’s important to really find someone who is available, and willing to work on issues preventing him or her from getting close in order to form a real lifetime bond with you.
Kay is in her 50′s, is divorced with grown sons, and has been back in the dating game for 5 years. She’s met a surprising assortment of men from online dating sites, many of whom were very nice but just not right for her. Some remain friends. She now refuses to meet anyone at Starbucks